To understand the story, some background is needed for the eighteen-year-old William Spire. He was, from his very beginnings, an angry fellow-a continuous practitioner of the sneer. He sneered at everyone and everything-be they animate (like everyone) or inanimate (like everything). Casting sneers at cracks in the sidewalk and leafless branches, William Spire was one who tended to believe that the chill of winter sunk its teeth into only his skin. And, in retaliation for this, he did not wear a hat nor did he wear gloves. Instead, he left his skin exposed. A dare for the cold to bite-which the cold did. And, so, William Spire sneered. Perhaps harder even.
And, with that knowledge intact, we can now relive the day that William Spire took the hardest drag from a cigarette. He had just turned eighteen the day before the event. And it may have been this that made him so angry that day. But, as we have noted, William Spire sneered always. So, to blame a particular day or a particular event was ludicrous. William Spire, for whatever and every reason that he sneered, took his anger out that day on a freshly rolled cigarette. With all the breath and sneer he could muster, he inhaled as hard as humanly-as William Spirely-possible, dragging so hard that the cigarette should have reduced completely to ash. And it did not. It resisted.
The cigarette remained lit at the end. The red bud of flame barely burning through the very opening of the cigarette even as William Spire's eighteen-year-old face turned bright red and he neared an eighteen-year-old hyperventilation. Then, the cigarette retaliated. The red bud turned brighter, matching Willliam Spire's hue and the cigarette inhaled back. Inhaling so hard that, in a matter of seconds, William Spire was sucked into its tobaccoey insides. The cigarette fell from the space that was once William Spire and landed on the floor. The red bud extinguished.
The cigarette's paper was cut open and inside was a collection of ash and tobacco, any part of which could be William Spire. This collection was swept into a dust pan, placed in a mason jar, and stored in a dry cupboard to wait for the day technology could bring back a man turned to ash and tobacco.
It is for this reason that Allister appreciated each and every inanimate object's place. And, it is for this reason that one may have seen Allister nod back to the rocking chair and hiccup back to the empty bottle even if one had not seen or heard either object initiate the dialogue.